Statement of Ambassador J. Enkhsaikhan
in the General Debate
of the International Committee
on disarmament and questions
New York, October 14, 1999
May I extend to you my delegation's congratulations on your well-deserved election and pledge my delegation's full support and cooperation. Our felicitations also go to the other members of the bureau on their election.
This year the First Committee begins its deliberations in conditions of growing concern over the possibility of renewed nuclear arms race, regionally or globally, and of the continuous reliance on nuclear deterrence and doctrines as a basis of ensuring security at the national, regional and global levels.
Despite some positive developments to which some of the previous speakers have made reference, the disarmament and international security agenda today is, nevertheless, overshadowed by disturbing developments. They are: delay and additional strain in the entry into force of the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT); measures to develop ballistic missile defense that could undermine the strategic balance and stability as well as the nuclear arms reduction process; growth in the number of States that are developing or testing missiles; delay in ratification of the START II treaty and thus delay in proceeding to START III negotiations; continued failure of the Conference on Disarmament to engage in substantial negotiations on fissile material cut-off treaty and absence of agreement on the convening of SSOD-IV.
In the face of such negative developments, the international community should redouble its efforts aimed at realistically addressing these problems and challenges, and perhaps outline the measures that could be taken to reverse these negative trends. In order to do that perhaps we ought to ask ourselves where we have gone wrong, whether we are making the most of the existing negotiating mechanisms and specific arms reduction and disarmament regimes; whether our efforts and good faith in negotiations are equally matched with good faith in follow-ups; whether the States that according to the United Nations Charter have primary responsibility in the area of maintenance of international peace and security are living up to the Charter or our expectations, etc. Answers to these and other related questions would be quite useful in addressing the above-mentioned and other challenges.
Mongolia is strongly committed to disarmament, non-proliferation, to strengthening international peace and security. My Prime Minister in his address in the general debate of the current session has extensively spoken on Mongolia's position on and its policy with regard to the pressing international security and disarmament issues. Furthermore, our national position on these issues are in part reflected in the ministerial communique of the NAM, adopted on 23 September, 1999 here in New York. Therefore, today I would like to address only the following 5 issues:
1. ABM treaty. After the end of the Cold War, the international community has agreed that further efforts towards nuclear disarmament, as set out in the Decision on Principles and Objectives adopted by the 1995 NPT Review and Extension Conference, are essential, if we are to reduce and eliminate nuclear weapons. It is in this context that we approach the question of ABM treaty. When the Treaty was signed by the then Soviet Union and the United States, Mongolia, like all other countries, welcomed it as an important step towards strengthening strategic balance and international security, as a step conducive to nuclear arms reduction. Reality has confirmed that the international community was correct.
Today Mongolia still believes that the ABM treaty, though being a bilateral treaty, nevertheless has far-reaching global strategic implications. As the ministers of NAM have specifically underlined in the communique mentioned above, "we are" concerned over the negative implications of the development and deployment of anti-ballistic missile defence systems and the pursuit of advanced military technologies capable of deployment in outer space which have, inter alia, contributed to the further erosion of an international climate conducive to the promotion of disarmament and the strengthening of international security”. In this connection the ministers have called upon the States parties to the ABM treaty to fully comply with its provisions. Mongolia fully subscribes to this call.
2. CTBT. Three years have passed since the CTBT was adopted and opened for signature. As of today 155 countries have signed it and 51 have ratified. Among the latter there are 26, whose ratification is essential for the Treaty’s entry into force, including two of the five nuclear-weapon States - the United Kingdom and France. This fact alone demonstrates that there is a wide support for the Treaty. When the Treaty was adopted in 1996, expectations were high about its role. The three years that have elapsed only underlined the importance of the Treaty for non-proliferation of nuclear weapons, for giving a much needed impetus to the process of nuclear disarmament and in general for strengthening international peace and security. Mongolia was among the very first to sign and then ratify the Treaty. It is also providing three monitoring stations for the International Monitoring System to be set up according to the Treaty. Bearing in mind Mongolia’s strategic location, the three monitoring stations are recognized as highly valuable.
Mr. Chairman, My delegation believes that CTBT can and should play an exceptionally important role in nuclear non-proliferation. Its provisions, including setting up of 321 monitoring stations, are invaluable in strengthening non-proliferation and confidence. Further delay of the Treaty’s entry into force would only increase the risk of nuclear testing and thus horizontal or vertical proliferation of nuclear weapons. It is expected that all the signatories would work for the speediest ratification and that pending ratification the signatories would respect the letter and the spirit of the Treaty.
Last Friday in Vienna the Conference on Facilitating the Entry into Force of the CTBT has issued a declaration renewing the determination of its participants to work for universal ratification of the Treaty and its early entry into force. Mongolia, which participated in the conference, believes that the declaration should be followed-up with concrete practical measures. It is to be hoped that during the session of this Committee it would be able to exchange views on this question and on how the international community could further its early entry into force. This should be one of our primary tasks. Mongolia believes that delay in the entry into force of the CTBT and especially attitude of nuclear-weapon States, would affect the 2000 NPT Review Conference and its outcome.
3. NWFZs. From Mongolia’s perspective, consolidation of existing and establishment of new nuclear-weapon-free zones in various parts of the world would contribute to the strengthening of the international non-proliferation regime, regional stability and security. In this context Mongolia welcomes the adoption by the UNDC at its last session of the principles and guidelines of establishing nuclear-weapon-free zones. We believe that these principles and guidelines would be useful in establishing new zones in the future. In this connection Mongolia hopes that the on-going negotiations among the Central Asian States and with the other States concerned would lead to an early conclusion of a treaty establishing a nuclear-weapon-free zone in this important region.
Within the context of nuclear-weapon-free zones, I would like to refer to last year’s General Assembly resolution 53/77D entitled: “Mongolia’s international security and nuclear-weapon-free status”. This resolution has received widespread international support. I would like to take this opportunity to thank once again those States that have expressed their support for Mongolia’s policy and its status, including Ecuador, San Marion and others. In this connection my delegation would like to thank the Russian Federation for expressing its readiness “to consider together with other countries the issue of providing corresponding security assurances to Mongolia”.
As a follow-up to this resolution, Mongolia, in close cooperation with the States concerned, is actively working to implement it. Two rounds of expert level consultations have been held on the ways and means of implementing it, including defining the status in conjunction with Mongolia’s international security needs and interests.
Presently the Government of Mongolia is working on a draft national legislation on Mongolia’s nuclear-weapon-free status with a view to submitting it for consideration and adoption by the State Ikh Khural ( i.e. the parliament ) in the near future. The law would draw on the existing and evolving international practice of establishment of nuclear-weapon-free zones as well as reflect Mongolia’s unique geographical location. At the beginning of this session, the Mongolian Government issued a Memorandum on this question which can be found in document under the symbol A/54/323.
4. Conventional disarmament. Turning to the question of small arms, my delegation could be quite brief. It supports convening of an international conference on illicit arms trade in all its aspects in the year 2001.
5. Regional cooperation. Mongolia attaches great importance to regional efforts aimed at disarmament and strengthening regional security. We believe that such cooperation could play an important role in promoting confidence and regional disarmament. Last August the Government of Mongolia, together with the UN Regional Center for Peace and Disarmament in Asia and the Pacific, has organized in Ulaanbaatar a regional meeting on Security Concepts in the Changing World. Participants from more than 20 countries of the region focused on such issues as definition of security in the changing world, security concepts, military and nuclear doctrines, security of small States, information technology and national defense and nuclear-weapon-free zones. The question of defining Mongolia’s nuclear-weapon-free status was also extensively discussed. The participants all agreed that the conference was very interesting and useful.
Mr. Chairman, The past decade has demonstrated that the regional center is playing an important role in promoting dialogue on disarmament and security-related issues. My delegation, which tries to take an active part in the work of the regional center, believes that its activities should be supported both politically and financially. Therefore we believe that the question of establishing a permanent office in Kathmandu should be expedited and that meanwhile the center should continue to operate from New York.
In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, allow me to reiterate once again that the First Committee this year has a special role to play in breaking the current negative trends that I have outlined at the beginning of my statement. This could be our contribution to marking the dawn of the new century.